Are Settings specific to an Account?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Texas_Toast, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #1
    When you configure a new Mac by adjusting settings under Preferences, do those settings carry over to other accounts?

    For example, if I defined custom DNS servers in my Admin account, would they show in my standard account?

    Or if I require a password when my screensaver comes on, is that specific to an account, or is it a global setting that applies to all accounts on my Mac?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lunder89, Sep 10, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017

    Lunder89 macrumors 6502

    Lunder89

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    #2
    I don't know about the DNS setting, but I think the screensaver setting applies to all.
     
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Between the coasts
    #3
    Some settings are universal, others, fortunately, are unique to each user.

    Network Preferences are universal. No need to re-enter wifi passwords for each user account, or when accessing the Recovery system. Printers & Scanners is also universal, and, logically, so is Users & Groups.

    Others, like Mouse, Security & Privacy, Desktop & Screensavers, Sharing, Parental Controls, iCloud... individually set.

    Contrary to the previous post, screen saver settings do not apply to all. As I have multiple user accounts, I was able to confirm this quite easily. I have different desktops and screen savers for each user, and a different onset time for screen saver. (My regular admin account is customized to taste. I have another account that I use for testing purposes - that one is set to factory defaults, as I've had no need to modify them.)

    If you're capable of creating multiple user accounts, you're certainly capable of switching between them to check this for yourself.
     
  4. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #4
    Okay, good thing I asked. So there is some variance there. I was hoping to just set things in my Admin account and have any regular user account inherit everything, but I guess not.
     
  5. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #5
    What about all of my Finder customizations? Are those shared between users?

    And what about applications, like all of my Firefox browser customizations?
     
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #6
    No.

    Each user account is intended to be used by a different person. You wouldn't want a change made by one person to affect all the other users.
     
  7. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #7
    True. So when I set up my admin account, I will basically have to do all of that same work over for my standard account short of a couple shared settings like network settings, correct?
     
  8. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Right, for customization purposes, you may have a fair amount to re-do/duplicate.

    Are you setting up a separate standard account for yourself, in addition the Admin? Do you have a particular reason for doing that (letting others use your standard account, let's say)?
     
  9. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #9
    Well, a few things...

    First, I always create a basic "admin" account that is stripped down to do just that - administer my Mac. Then I create a "standard" account which I use for day to day purposes that is not an "admin". That way my daily account is safer and less likely to cause me to get hacked since it has less permissions.

    The conetxt of my OP is that I am writing a guide for myself (and other) on how I like to set up my Macs, and I started wondering if the chapters I wrote on setting up the admin parts would be redundant for the standard user if things carried over. Like I have a chapter on installing Finder, and another on setting up Firefox for the Admin. It sounds like I need to write similar chapters for the standard user, or maybe just say "See chapter under Admin section for setting up Finder and Firefox for the standard user".

    Hope that explains why I am asking about this?

    (Also, I haven't set up a new Mac in several years, so all of this is rusty to me. And that is exactly why I am creating a "guide", because I forget things easily, and I figure if I take better notes, then when I get a new Mac, I will have a great "cheat sheet" for setting up a lot of the mundane things. The fact that I am posting here, shows that I don't recall how I set all of this up maybe 6-7 years ago on my current Mac! Old age is tough sometimes...)

    :)
     
  10. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Gotcha!

    From my perspective (as someone who has written a fair amount of how-to books over the years), I'd separate the setting of user preferences from the creation of user accounts. The only items I'd put in "Creating User Accounts" are those that are encountered in the initial setup screens, and perhaps the global functions, like setting up networks, Bluetooth, printers, whole-disk encryption, etc. (though they, too, could justify a separate chapter).

    "Personalization" is just that. Mom and Dad don't have to clone their Admin accounts' mouse preferences to their kids' Managed accounts. The kids should learn to control their own user environments.

    Although I may be missing an Admin function or two in my top-of-the-head analysis, I can't think of one that doesn't require separately entering an Admin password, even when logged into an Admin account. I don't see why, in the typical home/small office environment, an Admin user can't be logged into his/her Admin account on a day-to-day basis, rather than use a Standard account and enter the separate Admin account's username and password when Admin tasks are necessary.

    In a larger, institutional environment, where the IT department wants to prevent any end-user from making Admin changes... yeah, a separate Admin account is a necessity.
     
  11. kohlson macrumors 68000

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    #11
    You may want to set up a new account/system-from-a-bootable-drive, if only to re-aquaint yourself. In my sphere of influence, a consistent point of confusion is multiple passwords (iCloud/iPhone); system/login, and email account. And per ApfelKuchen, if there are separate name/passwords for user and system accounts.
     
  12. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

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    #12
    @ApfelKuchen,

    Are you saying that from a security perspective that you don't need a "standard" and "admin" account, and can just run your Mac as "admin" all of the time?

    ------

    When you install an application (e.g. Firefox, OpenOffice) isn't it true that that the application only needs to be installed once because all users have access to it in the > Applications folder?

    So you might have to personalize the application for every user, but you only have to install it once?
     
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #13
    For most users, right - from a security perspective you can run your Mac as Admin all the time. From my perspective, the purpose of Standard and Managed user accounts is to protect the machine from users who should not be performing Admin functions.

    Basic rule: Don't give an Admin password to someone who can't be trusted with it. If everyone in the house/office can be trusted with Admin rights, then the computer may need only a single User account. If they can't be trusted with Admin rights, you need to create at least one non-Admin account for their use, and never give them the Admin password.

    Right, you only need to install an app once.

    Nearly all apps are installed to the top-level Applications folder, where they are equally available to all users. I can't recall installing an app that, for licensing purposes, was supposed to be installed to a specific User's Applications folder. In routine use, the primary purpose of the User-specific Applications folder is to prevent other Users from accessing the app.

    Nearly all apps are designed to save User-specific preferences. Each User account has a full set of "support" folders for preferences, etc. in its hidden Library folder that is mirrored by a set of global "support" folders in the top-level Library folder.

    I don't see why it's the admin's job to personalize apps for each user. Personalization is for the end-user, not the admin (though the admin may have to show the end user how to personalize).
     

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12 September 10, 2017